If you know anything about alternative crafts in the DC area, then you’ve heard about Crafty Bastards! Hosted and organized by the Washington DC City Paper, a weekly newspaper known throughout the city for its quirky point of view and alternative coverage of events, Crafty Bastards is the biggest and best-known craft fair in DC.
The City Paper held its first Crafty Bastards Art and Craft Fair in 2004 in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, with more than 100 crafty, food, and music vendors. Since then, the fair has moved to the Adams Morgan neighborhood and grown to attract more than 30,000 attendees, plus national attention!
This year’s fair had more than 150 vendors, and so many things to do beyond just shopping for cool handmade stuff. There were competitions with fabulous prizes, cool sponsors to visit like Etsy and Curbside Cupcakes, a full food court, designated areas for attendees to learn new skills and “Make Something Awesome,” plus the ever-popular B-Boy Battle, where local break dancing aficionados compete for prizes while captivating the crowd.
Crafty Bastards is not just a local phenomenon, and attracts both vendors and attendees from all over the country. Even superstars of the indie craft world are drawn to the show. Jay McCarroll (winner of Project Runway season one) had a booth this year, where he was selling his whimsical fabric designs, and Garth Johnson (editor of ExtremeCraft.com) wrote and curated the best-in-show selection for the City Paper’s special Crafty Bastards edition.
The vendors represent a wide variety of art, craft and design aesthetics, but they all have one thing in common: everything is one hundred percent handmade by the artist. You won’t find any of the mass produced or imported goods that sometimes creep into other outdoor art and craft fairs. Crafty Bastards’ pure devotion to handmade goods is definitely one of the reasons it’s such a popular event.
Crafty Bastards is now in its seventh year, and only promises to get bigger and better in the future. The fair is held annually in the fall at the Marie Reed Learning Center in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. Visit the City Paper online to join the mailing list and never miss news about upcoming Crafty Bastards fairs!